Simplifying Voice Application Development

Last September, IBM made a notable contribution to the voice development community by providing the Apache foundation with a set of reusable dialog components for creating voice and multimodal applications. While some at the time criticized the contribution as “discardware,” the folks at Apache recently announced that version 1.0 of the Reusable Dialog Component Taglib is now available for use by developers.

How useful these components are for aiding the rapid development of voice applications remains to be seen – a lot is riding on how developers react to this news.

There are other efforts out there to make developing voice applications generally, and VoiceXML applications specifically, more efficient. There is a set of PHP libraries available on SourceForge for creating VoiceXML/CCXML/SRGS applications. My own meager contribution to this broader effort is a small PHP class library that can be used to generate SRGS grammars in XML format.

Hopefully, we are only seeing the beginning of a broader and more sustained effort to simplify voice application development.